Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em: A “new” approach to leaf removal

Can you name one of the most financially wasteful and environmentally harmful landscape practices that is common to our area? Or in reverse, do you know of a landscape practice that can be embraced by the most fiscal conservative and the most liberal environmentalist? The answer to the first question is leaf removal. The answer to the second question is …

Monarch Migration

As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, both plants and animals need to adjust to these seasonal changes. In our area, most plants go dormant which leaves the animals that depend on them several choices for survival. Some animals, such as chickadees, nuthatches, and field mice change their food source to what is available, such as seeds. …

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Identify & Avoid Common Landscaping Mistakes

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. –Eleanor Roosevelt Whether you take care of your own property, or you have someone maintain it for you, here are some common mistakes that we frequently see in the landscape. Learn to avoid these mistakes and you will save yourself time, material, and frustration! …

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Summer Nights

Summer nights can be magical. Who doesn’t remember long summer nights as a kid, chasing fireflies, gazing at stars, or playing kick-the-can? Shorts and a T-shirt were all we needed to dive into the mysterious and exciting, outdoor world of summer nights. Oh, and one more thing, we needed darkness. Our world is becoming increasingly lit up at night. Sometimes …

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Create Your Perfect Herb Garden

Herbs are a wonderful way to connect to the outdoors. Whether you live in the city or suburbia, an herb garden is attainable. All you need is the appropriate soil and plenty of sun. A perfect location for an herb garden is in a sunny location near your kitchen door so that you can step out and harvest some fresh …

Our Favorite Native Shade Trees

In our last “Field Notes”, Lee discussed the benefits of shade trees. Now I would like to mention just a few of my favorites in case you are planning to add one to your own landscape.   At the top of my list is the Quercus alba, or White Oak. This is truly a tree that you plant for your …

Grub Control for Your Lawn

If you have ever dug in your garden, and found thick white, soft bodied bugs just under the surface, to several inches down, you have seen grubs. These insects are the larval form of several different species of scarab beetles, which will eventually pupate, and emerge from the ground. There are several species of scarab beetles, including Japanese beetles, June …

Spring Rain

Rain, Rain, Go Away?

Rain, Rain, Go Away?  In the mid-Atlantic region, we are actually lucky to get the rainfall that we do.  Our “normal” weather patterns of wet springs, hot summers, cool falls, and cold winters have caused the evolution of our uniquely mid-Atlantic flora and fauna, or plants and animals. But there can be problems with our rainy springs, including flooding, erosion …

Reviewing Winter Damage in the Landscape

Everyone knows it was a tough winter in the mid-Atlantic with school closings, stressful commutes, and bitter cold weather, but now that it is spring, we can put all of that behind us, right?  Well, in addition to this winter being difficult on people, it was also damaging to our landscapes.  So what should we be looking for on our …

In Praise of Mourning Cloaks

Some insects are simply fascinating.  Mourning Cloak butterflies are one of them.  A beautiful brown-red butterfly with cream colored edges and blue spots on the wings, Mourning Cloaks are often the first butterflies to appear in spring. Insects use several different mechanisms to survive the winter including migration, communal living, and diapause, which is a long term state of suspension. …